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Current as of 24/03/17 07:19AM NZST
Simon Plumb is a journalist for the Herald on Sunday

Ali Williams cocaine scandal claims All Black's charity gig with Dan Carter, Richie McCaw

Alister Gates confirmed the charity accepted an offer from Williams to resign. Photo / Greg Bowker
Alister Gates confirmed the charity accepted an offer from Williams to resign. Photo / Greg Bowker

Ali Williams' cocaine scandal has cost him his role on the children's charity he co-founded with All Blacks greats Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

The latest fallout from the former All Black being charged over allegedly buying cocaine outside a Paris nightclub last weekend has seen Williams removed as a trustee in kids' charity, the iSport Foundation.

Created by Williams, Carter and McCaw in 2009, the charity gives grants to teenagers struggling to fund their sporting dreams.

Charities Services records declare Williams a "past officer", formally removed as a trustee on Wednesday.

Chief executive, entrepreneur Alister Gates, confirmed the charity accepted an offer from Williams to resign.

"Ali Williams has tendered his resignation as a trustee of the iSport Foundation and the foundation has accepted his resignation, he no longer has any association with the trust," Gates told the Herald on Sunday.

In his first comment since the scandal, Williams took to social media on Thursday to apologise, writing he "made a big mistake" and "I will face the consequences".

McCaw is now the only one of the charity's founding trio to remain a trustee, with Carter - who was caught drink-driving in Paris about two weeks before Williams' arrest - ending his role as an officer in 2015.

Businesses listed as supporters on the foundation's website include heavyweight multinational PricewaterhouseCoopers, whose New Zealand arm said "we can't comment on clients".


A spokesman for Westpac bank, a major grants sponsor of the foundation, said "neither Dan Carter or Ali Williams represent Westpac in any capacity" while Jetts Fitness chief executive Claire Attard said she had no comment. Attard is also a trustee of the foundation.

Williams, 35, was due to appear before a judge and prosecutor in a closed court this week. No details of the court hearing have been released to date.

He has been suspended by his top French club Racing 92 and dropped as an official club ambassador, while the French National Rugby League (LNR) yesterday confirmed its disciplinary commission had started proceedings against Williams and O'Connor.

New Zealand Rugby Players' Association chief Rob Nichol said he was in contact with Williams who has a "good network of support" around him, including French players' association Provale, who have offered help to Williams.

Williams and former Wallaby James O'Connor were detained by Paris police over the alleged purchase of cocaine - Williams was charged with buying the substance and O'Connor for possession.

Since then, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has claimed French rugby has a cocaine problem.

"It's only my opinion, but I have the impression that in certain clubs and many players, coke is very popular," Boudjellal told AFP.

"We've had the alcohol stage, now we're at another one. We can't support that. That needs to stop."

iSport Foundation created by Williams, Carter and McCaw in 2009, gives grants to teenagers struggling to fund their sporting dreams. Photo / Supplied
iSport Foundation created by Williams, Carter and McCaw in 2009, gives grants to teenagers struggling to fund their sporting dreams. Photo / Supplied

O'Connor, who plays for Toulon, has also been suspended by his club.

Kiwis have had a strong presence in French club rugby for many years, where huge contracts far outweigh the money back home.

Former All Black Kees Meeuws spent four years playing French club rugby between 2004-08. He said when some people are out of the highly-controlled All Blacks climate, the increased freedom can lead to behavioural change.

"When you go to France, all of your expectation and pressure from the All Blacks environment has gone away, so you feel like you're a little bit freer and do things you would never normally do," Meeuws said.

It's not clear whether Williams and Carter's recent run-ins with the law could jeopardise a multimillion-dollar business deal.

Williams and Carter have been linked to a consortium of New Zealand businessmen interested in trying to save embattled English rugby club London Welsh, with Britain's Rugby Paper reporting a source saying "Ali wants to get involved with a club where he can add some value. He and Dan are both likely to be used to attract players to the club."

The former English Premiership team is reported to have debts of $3.5 million.

- Herald on Sunday

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